When you’re trying to eat healthier, lose weight or get fit, vacation can be a stressful thing.
Lots of my clients struggle to balance vacation & their goals. You want to enjoy vacation and you don’t want to feel like you’re missing out, but you also don’t want to throw caution to the wind and go overboard.
Where’s the middle? We’re gonna find it in today’s episode!
It’s not about deprivation but it’s also not about having a free-for-all. Let’s chat about it.
Helluva title, eh? I’m gonna make you wait a couple minutes for the vomit story…
Let’s start with, “Am I a hypocrite?”
In yesterday’s daily recap, I shared that I went away for the weekend and enjoyed a few drinks, a piece of chocolate & a burger.
I talked in the post about food guilt and how I have zero guilt or shame about what I ate nor do I feel the need to “make up for it”. They were choices I feel good about, and I’ll continue making choices I feel good about, that are more aligned with my goals, now that I’m home from my mini vacation.
A gentleman reader commented on the post:
It begs the question: am I a hypocrite?
There was zero rationalization in that post. Pure ownership without guilt.
By “a podcaster”, he means me, and he’s referring to a podcast episode when I recently shared that I wouldn’t enjoy a sushi date more if it included wine. I still feel that way.
Suggesting that adding wine wouldn’t increase my enjoyment isn’t “code” for “Indulging is never okay and never worth it”.
There’s a reason I’m choosing to elaborate on this interaction: I think it’s a tremendous opportunity for perspective adjustment about food guilt & indulging.
While I don’t feel the need to defend my choices (I choose to share them with you guys), I do think that food guilt & indulging is a complex issue that challenges many people. Hopefully this deeper dive will be a valuable tool.
Let me be super clear:
Yes, this is a year of push for me.
That does not mean I intend to go a whole year without having a drink or a piece of chocolate or a burger.
Is that an option? Sure. But it’s not the path I choose for myself.
If someone chooses zero indulgences for the duration of their journey, kudos! Seriously – I think that’s fantastic!
It’s just not the path I choose for myself.
I choose to indulge when it’s worth it and pass when it’s not.
This is something I evaluate on a daily basis. Most days, the indulgences available to me aren’t worth it.
The case I was making on the podcast in question is that certain indulgences simply aren’t worth it when you’re pursuing a goal.
I was encouraging myself to not trade progress for the daily, average indulgences.
At the same time, if you go on vacation (as I was this past weekend) and there’s an opportunity for a special indulgence that feels worth it, I’m all about it.
For me, I want to indulge in a way that I don’t feel like I overdid it.
Indulging past the point of enjoyment & into a place of regret immediately makes the indulgence not worth it (for me).
I think that might be the nuance he overlooked. But who knows.
Indulgences used to make me feel guilty. I’d go waaaaay overboard and one drink would leave me saying, “ah, what the heck, let’s go crazy today and make up for it tomorrow”.
One square of chocolate would turn into a pint of ice cream and a pizza.
A huge part of the reason that I don’t feel guilty is because when I choose to indulge now, it’s within reason, it doesn’t slide into regret or feeling gross and it’s something that, to me, is worth it.
“Worth it” means different things to different people.
For me personally, some things that aren’t worth it include:
Bread at 99.9% of restaurants (pre-dinner bread, buns, rolls, etc)
Processed snacks from the grocery store
Pints of ice cream I’ve had a million times before (and diet ice cream)
Alcohol when I’m alone or any alcohol that I don’t totally love (a generic cocktail even with great company)
That’s just naming a few things that aren’t worth it. Surely there are more.
The indulgences I chose while away last weekend were worth it.
A few pieces of fruit from an amazing charcuterie plate
A small piece of chocolate
Craft cocktails off a new menu
A big part of the reason I’m proud of my choices and not feeling guilty is because of what I didn’t choose to indulge in.
For example, when out for breakfast, I still ordered my black coffee or espresso and an omelet.
Did I consider pancakes and a blood mary or cocktail? Sure.
Were they worth it? No.
Would they make me feel my best? No.
Did I consider a fried fish platter at the ocean front restaurant? Yup.
Did I order it? No, because it wouldn’t make me feel my best.
I want to choose the indulgences that are totally worth it AND don’t leave me feeling heavy, tired or disappointed.
Part of this is knowing when I’ve had enough. I left a glass of red wine half finished.
Why? Because it was great, I enjoyed it tremendously, but I recognized that the 2nd half of the glass wouldn’t taste any better than the first half.
I’m proud of those choices, not feeling guilty at all.
This particular reader (same one as above), thinks otherwise.
It’s totally okay that he thinks I feel a little guilt and am punishing myself.
Not the case. Proud.
Enough about that.
Today’s workout was fun!
18 Power Snatch (95/65)
18 Burpee Pull-ups
Max Calorie Row
15 Power Snatch (115/80)
15 Burpee Pull-ups
Max Calorie Row
12 Power Snatch (135/95)
12 Burpee Pull-ups
Max Calorie Row
Let me explain the workout for those who are curious. It’s basically 3 short workouts with 4 minute rests between each one.
So, in 4 minutes, you do 18 power snatches, 18 burpee pull-ups and as many calories as you can possibly row.
Then you rest for 4 minutes and hit the next segment before resting another 4 minutes and then doing it a final time.
It felt so good to move a bit of weight!!
After the gym I went over to a blood drive. You guys know that though I fear needles, I believe strongly in donating blood as soon as I’m eligible, which is every 56 days.
Please, if you’re able, donate blood.
I mean, it’s tax day. The government took my money I figure I might as well give the Red Cross my blood today, too. Turns out I left a little extra donation for the library as well… :-/
Next year I might also schedule a clothing drop off & chop off my hair for Locks of Love.
Or maybe I’ll rob a bank. That seems more logical…
Anyways. Tax Day. Blood donation….
(Yeah, we’re coming up to the vomit part of the story…)
I never look happy when I’m at a blood drive. I’m grateful to be well enough to donate but I have a MAJOR fear of needles. So when they ask if I’m okay, I answer with a smile, “Yup, just scared of needles”.
I hopped on the table and do my thing. No problems at all.
Iron was normal. Temp normal. BP normal for me (112/74).
Blood flowing like normal – around 5 minutes to fill, so I’m clearly not dehydrated.
As they prepare to take the needle out of my arm, the nurse says, “Are you sure you’re okay? You don’t look good.”
In fairness, I had my arm draped over my head but that’s only to avoid seeing the needle & the blood.
“Yup, I’m fine, just scared of needles so I look away”
She instructs me to wait a few more minutes on the table and I do.
When she appears to be distracted with another generous donor, I slide off the table and head to the door.
“Are you leaving?”
“Yes, thank you!”
“I need you to stay for 15 minutes and have some juice & cookies”
“I don’t do juice & cookies” (It’s true, I’ve never had the juice or the cookies. Just water.
“Okay, you don’t need to eat but you have to sit for a few more minutes”.
My butt barely touches the chair before I…
Projectile vomit all over the library wall.
WTF? Did that just happen? By the horrified faces all around me, yep, sure did.
I called my mom after the vomit nightmare and she said, “Do you have any plans for the rest of the day or can you take it easy?”
I had just finished telling her about the vomit and about 20 other things that went dramatically wrong today (I spared you those, you’re welcome) so I said, “You know, I think I should sit in my closet, not touch anything and come out tomorrow for a fresh start”.
So if you email me today, please be patient. I’m gonna try again tomorrow.
I had been really resistant to try any kind of paleo meal delivery service for a couple of reasons: they seemed really expensive and difficult to customize. I felt like it wasn’t worth the price to buy a package of meals most of which included components I wouldn’t personally eat (potato, sweet potato, fruit, etc).
I changed my mind when I found Paleo Power Meals. Today I’m sharing my 2-3 week experiment with Paleo Power Meals – the pros, the cons, what I loved and what I didn’t and how I plan to make this work for me moving forward.
**I have not been compensated in any way for this review. I paid in full for my meals and only reached out to them after 3 weeks of orders to request a coupon code for my listeners, which they gave. If you want to try Paleo Power Meals, use the coupon code ebprimal20 to save 20%**
Please note: there is no transcript for this episode.
It’s expensive, but I think when you cut out snacking, reduce eating out, eliminate impulse purchases and realize how much time and mental energy you save, it’s a lot more “worth it” than it might seem
The website is a little clunky – not super easy to order a bunch of meals at once
If you want to give them a try, be sure to use the coupon code ebprimal20 to save 20%!
I’m not sure if you can call it a meal delivery service (technically I think it fits and yes I know they aren’t paleo meal delivery), but I also tried Quest’s new Keto frozen meals. They are FAR cheaper than Paleo Power Meals, however:
shipping is outrageous – I paid more to ship the food than I paid for the food itself
the food is frozen and mine was all freezer-burned
the portions are small
it wasn’t very tasty – average, at best
it can’t possibly compete with the quality of Paleo Power Meals
To join the winter 2017 Fat Loss Fast Track, click here.
Interested in the Fat Loss Fast Track? The fall group is currently closed but you can get on the wait list for our first group of 2017!
If you find the Primal Potential podcast help, it would mean the world to me if you’d take a minute to leave a rating & review! That helps show platforms display my podcast to new listeners! Thank you so much for your support! I can’t tell you how valuable it is!
I’ve shared with you guys before that traveling used to be a huge struggle for me. Whether it was a day trip, a work trip, a weekend away or a full blown vacation, I’d throw caution to the wind & eat everything that wasn’t nailed down. Any lack of structure or change in routine was an excuse to overeat and overindulge.
I hated it. I dreaded travel. I’d inevitably come home feeling miserable & terribly disappointed in myself.
I felt out of control. It’s interesting, isn’t it, that I hated my lack of control and I hated feeling so terrible but I was the only one putting the food in my mouth!?!
Confusing, right? I hated feeling stuffed and bloated. I hated feeling out of control. Overeating made me feel self-conscious and often made me isolate myself, not enjoying my time away.
Yet every time, I’d stuff myself stupid.
Today I want to share some of my personal fat loss travel tips. There are absolutely more temptations when you’re away and less of a feeling of confidence when you’re outside your element. It does take practice. It does take patience. It’s not about perfection.
It’s 1000% okay to enjoy a special treat but I want you to be able to travel with confidence and I want you to come home feeling amazing! Let’s work on that.
I enjoy my trips more, have more fun & have higher energy when I make food choices that are aligned with my goals no matter where I am. I also don’t fear travel, no matter what. I know that no matter where I am, with these fat loss travel tips, I can make great choices in any situation.
Fat Loss Travel Tips
To share some of my fave fat loss travel trips, I want to take you through a recent trip I took and how I thought through moments of temptation & indecision.
This particular trip included a 7 hour car ride, a 6 hour car ride, a hotel room that didn’t have a coffee maker (wtf!!!!), 3 meals out, a wedding and then some.
There are two overarching strategies that I find it INCREDIBLY helpful to travel with:
Am I even hungry?
Is this worth it?
One thing I noticed about my past travel experiences is that I often ate when I wasn’t hungry. On a road trip, I’d eat out of boredom. I’d eat as a distraction. Eating was an activity whether I was hungry or not.
Now, when my mind drifts to food (which happens often), I’ll start by asking, “Am I even hungry?”
If I am, I’ll eat. If I’m not, I calmly reply to myself, “E, you’re not even hungry” and then I’ll redirect my attention to something else – a song, a book, a travel companion, etc.
Here’s a beautiful thing I’ve learned – I don’t need to eat when I’m not hungry & I don’t have to feel like I’m missing out. I’ll get hungry again! And soon! And when that hunger comes, I’ll eat. Until then, it’s all okay.
Sometimes I’ll remind myself, “Don’t worry, you’ll get hungry again soon. You can have it then. You’ll enjoy it more when you’re actually hungry and you’ll definitely feel better afterwards than you would if you eat it when you aren’t hungry!”
The second question I repeatedly ask is, “Is it worth it?”
This is a big part of how I implement my mantra “I eat foods I love that love me back”. When I walked into the rest stop after 5 hours in the car and started eyeing all the snacks I asked, “Are these worth it?”
Heck no. Nothing I can buy in a rest stop is worth it.
If I’m going to eat, I want to enjoy it!
When I got to my destination, I was invited out to dinner. They picked a Thai restaurant. I love Thai food but of course nearly every dish comes with pasta or rice!
I caught myself feeling a little bummed and like I’d be missing out if I didn’t have rice.
As soon as I noticed the thoughts, I asked another one of my key questions:
When I get back to the hotel tonight, will I be happier if I have the rice or happier if I don’t?
For me, on this day, I decided I would be happier if I didn’t have the rice.
See, rice just isn’t worth it for me. It’s bland. It’s not special. I’ve had it a million times before and I’ve never thought, “OMG – that’s rice is to die for!”
So, I set out to find the most amazing protein & veggie option I could find. Salmon with a spicy coconut curry over broccoli. Perfect! Hold the rice.
It was amazing. The rice would have only been a vehicle for the curry. Not needed!
The next day we had a small dinner party (12 people) at an incredible Italian restaurant. Pizza. Pasta. Bread. Oh my.
When we got there, I was reeeeaaaaally hungry.
They ordered pizzas for the table. You know, the really, really good authentic pizza.
Would the pizza be delicious? Yes!
But, when I got back to my room later that night, would I be happier if I ate the pizza or happier if I didn’t?
Probably happier if I didn’t, and here’s why – I was also ordering an entree. If I’m going to eat pizza, that’s a meal! I didn’t want everyone else’s appetizer to be my meal.
Now, I could have sat at the table and felt jealous of their pizza and like I was missing out by not having it.
Or, I could order an appetizer more aligned with my goals that would curb my hunger and help me not focus on the pizza.
Charcuterie to the rescue! A few slices of meat & cheese was perfect! It was delicious, it didn’t spoil my appetite and I didn’t feel like I was missing out at all!
Every single person at the table ordered pasta…except me.
Could I? Absolutely!
But I asked myself, “What choice will make me feel best later tonight?”
What can I do?
Is there another option that I’d totally love & enjoy?
If there wasn’t, I’d probably have mindfully enjoyed some pasta without guilt.
But, there was a special on the menu – half a chicken over broccolini with a fried egg.
It was incredible. In fact, when it came to the table, I think a lot of the pasta eaters were jealous of my choice!
The other fat loss travel tip that helps me so much is to make time to move.
Before I got in the car for the road trip, I made time to sweat. Doing something to take care of myself helped reinforce my resolve for the day. I didn’t want to indulge in rest stop candy bars after making time to work so hard that morning!
The following day when I woke up in the hotel, my knee was swollen and in a fair amount of pain. I could easily have talked myself out of a workout. Instead, I asked myself a powerful question:
What can I do?
I definitely didn’t want to run, squat or aggravate my knee. But that doesn’t mean I can’t work out!
I went down to the hotel gym and did a circuit workout of shoulder press, rowing and push-ups. It was perfect!
Sure, there was a lot I couldn’t do but there was also a lot I could do.
When there’s no gym, I can do a body weight workout in my room.
I can go into the hotel stairwell and do a stair workout.
I can walk to explore a new city instead of drive.
There’s always so much you CAN do.
If you feel out of control when you travel, remind yourself that you ARE in control. You might not be in the habit of making choices you feel good about, but you are in control.
Start by making one small improvement at a time, maybe by picking one of the questions in this post and bringing it with you when you travel!
For more of my thoughts on making good choices when you travel, check out these posts!